SJ9173NE MARKET PLACE
886-1/10/138 (East side)
14/04/49 Church of St Michael
Parish church. C13 in origin, the exterior fabric mainly
1898-1902 but with remodelled Perpendicular tower, and 2
chapels to south of 1501-7 and 1620. Remodelled and
extensively rebuilt by Sir Arthur Blomfield. Roughly coursed
and squared red sandstone with ashlar tower. Stone-flagged
PLAN: nave with 2 aisles, clerestory and SW tower; 2 south
chapels, and chancel with flanking vestries etc.
EXTERIOR: west door with 5-light Perpendicular window over,
with string course below ashlar gable coping. Narrow tower
with heavy stepped plinth and angle buttresses, and narrow
west doorway flanked by statues in niches each side.
Quatrefoil frieze above the doorway and 3-light Decorated
window above. Triple niche over the clock, and paired bell
chamber lights, flanked by shields of arms, one recently
renewed. Thin pilaster strips each side in the upper stage.
Embattled parapet with gargoyles and angle pinnacles.
North aisle of 6 bays divided by shallow buttresses, and with
square headed Perpendicular traceried windows with continuous
sill bands. Moulded cornice and parapet. Embattled parapet
above shallow-arched clerestory windows. Lower eastern bay of
aisle has 2 Decorated windows with transoms. 3 pointed arched
windows to chancel clerestory with embattled parapet over.
Large Decorated east window of 5-lights, divided by a transom.
Legh Chapel projects from south aisle: hipped stone-flagged
roof and circular stair tower, ornate traceried panelled porch
INTERIOR: mainly of 1898-1902 in a late Decorated style.
Exposed stonework throughout. Nave arcade of 4 bays with
additional lower bay to east now housing organ to north.
Additional narrow arch to NW, with heavily buttressed wall of
tower in corresponding position to south. Single respond of
earlier (late C13) arcade survives to W of south arcade, a
plain chamfered arch carried on corbel.
Octagonal pillars with castellated moulding to capitals carry
the main arcade, and foliate corbels carry wall posts for main
roof trusses, the lower post of stone, timber above. Shallow
cambered tie beams with castellated moulding and arched braces
with shields and foliate decoration in the spandrels. Open
traceried panels in between short queen posts. The principal
trusses are linked by enriched shallow arched braces spanning
the clerestory windows. Carved angels carry shields at base of
each bay of roof.
Lean-to aisles, 2 side chapels linked to the south aisle by an
arcade with 2 shallow arches and steeper doorways. Remains of
earlier archway now partially blocked to the west. Tomb
against east wall of south aisle, Thomas Rivers, d.1694: the
figure reclines in a pedimented and draped aedicule, by
William Stanton, moved and repaired in 1978. Small mobile font
recovered from churchyard: shallow fluted basin with enriched
wooden lid carried on balustraded shaft, dated 1744. Timber
pulpit, open-work base to octagonal pulpit depicting figures
of saints in high relief.
Semi-octagonal responds to chancel arch. Chancel up steps with
low wrought-iron screen. Hammer beam roof and mosaic floor. 2
shallow arched tomb recesses to south, with deep moulding and
ogee hoodmould with fleurons. Similar ogee arch to vestry
doorway to south, and also to sedilia to north and south.
Lower tomb recess in similar style to north. Reredos by Sir
Charles Nicholson. Tombs to south of Sir John Savage the 4th
(d.1495) and his wife Catherine, the 2 recumbent figures
holding hands; tomb to north of an unknown knight, c1475.
Legh chapel formerly the baptistery: octagonal font with blind
traceried panels and green marble clustered shafts. Stained
glass in south window by Shrigley and Hunt, 1903, Old and New
Testament figures, linked by the theme of baptism to the lower
narrative lights. Upper chamber said to have been former
school room reached by staircase from Savage Chapel.
Savage Chapel: 2 tomb recesses fill the lower part of the
archway from the south aisle: Sir John Savage the 5th d.1492,
and Sir John Savage the 6th(?).
Narrow C16 doorway to chapel alongside. Canted bay for altar
to east, with canopied niches in the flanking wall each side.
Stained glass by Morris and Co, the Ascension, with English
Saints in side lights. 2 tomb recesses in the south wall, each
a deeply-moulded arch with steep pointed hoodmould with
fleurons, and coats of arms carved in the apex: Sir John
Savage the 7th (d.1528) and his wife - recumbent figures in a
richly traceried recess with small 3-light window, also with
stained glass by Morris and Co; an unknown civilian of c1500,
the central part of the figure uncarved from the block.
Tomb against west wall, Sir John Savage the 8th, d.1597, and
his wife: 2 recumbent figures, the female at a higher level,
in an aedicule, the polished shafts surmounted by obelisks
each side, and figures reclining on the arch. Small
wall-mounted brass, the 'Legh Pardon' brass, 1506. High south
window with stained glass by Morris and Co., 1917.
STAINED GLASS: in nave, aisles and chancel: chancel east
window of 1910: Christ in Majesty with St Michael, Powell and
Company. North aisle: the west and northwest windows by Morris
and Company, 1901 and 1914; Kempe window towards the east as
memorial to Boer War; eastern window in style of Kempe, and
central window c1870 in pictorial style, unsigned. West nave
window: a memorial to Queen Victoria, depicted enthroned in
the centre with angels bearing texts each side - Powell. West
window of south aisle: the Agony in the Garden, no date,
possibly Morris and Co.
Listing NGR: SJ9179773706
This List entry has been amended to add the source for War Memorials Register. This source was not used in the compilation of this List entry but is added here as a guide for further reading, 26 January 2017.